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Monday, March 22, 2010

Living a Minimalist Life

Less is So Much More: Living a Minimalist Life | Care2 Healthy & Green Living
Not long ago, I discovered a blog called “mnmlist.” I’ve been following Lloyd Alter’s Frugal Green Living series and he has added some interesting quotes from mnmlist creator, Leo Babauta, who also founded Zen Habits. What I really like about mnmlist is how refreshingly clean it is — no ads, no pictures, no clutter.

What is mnmlist about?
  • It’s about minimalism, and why it’s important today.
  • It’s about stuff, and how it has come to overwhelm us. 
  • It’s about distractions and commitments and a neverending task list. 
  • It’s about the culture of more, of bigger, of consumption.
  • It’s about how less is the answer.
That’s it. In the scheme of striving to consume less, edit more and create more of what we need, these ideas strike a chord with me.
 This week, Babauta posted about empowering people to create. Those of you who follow my EcoNesting blog know that I love DIY. Babauta’s post truly resonated with me because it addresses the mindset of moving from “passive consumers to creators.” While I have written extensively about creative DIY projects, I hadn’t really put into words why creating your own stuff can be such a freeing experience.
 Anyway, I thought the mnmlist post was meaningful and I decided to ask Babauta if I could share the post with the Care2 readers. When I searched mnmlist.com for Babauta’s contact info to query him about it, I handily found this statement:
“This blog is Uncopyrighted. Its author, Leo Babauta, has released all claims on copyright and has put all the content of this blog into the public domain. No permission is needed to copy, distribute, or modify the content of this site. Credit is appreciated but not required. Do whatever the hell you like.”
 Wow, I never expected that! You don’t need to know much about writing or publishing to know that everything written online is somebody’s baby. Legally and ethically, you don’t want to mess with that. No copyright. Amazing…
 empower people to create
“We live in a world where we are passive consumers: we see an ad for an iPhone, new car, new clothes; we go to the store or website and buy the item; we use it, and then dispose of it when we’re done.
 What if we could break free from that?
What if we could become creators, participants, sharers, empowerers?
An awesome article about three guys who not only build bamboo bicycles, but show people how to make them themselves, really highlights how this can be done.

These guys are transforming people from passive consumers to creators, builders, knowledgeable users. That’s amazing.

How can you empower people? How can you turn people from consumers into makers? How can you help people from being passive users to knowledgeable ones?
Change the world — it’s waiting for you.”
 Thank you, mnmlist.

Ronnie Citron-Fink is a writer and educator. Ronnie regularly writes about sustainable living for online sites and magazines. Along with being the creator of www.econesting.com, Ronnie has contributed to numerous books about green home design, DIY, children, and humor. Ronnie lives the Hudson Valley of New York with her family.
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